I love words that aren’t found in any dictionary, but this one ‘dielarious’ and its derivative ‘dielarity’ certainly belong there. I stumbled upon these apt descriptives when reading the June 2012 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal. The article entitled The Last Laugh was written by humorist and author Lizz Winstead as she described the final days of the life of her beloved father. Those who have lost loved ones will relate to her experience. Lizz speaks about the bizarre and sometimes irreverent conversations that took place as her family accompanied her father as far as they could on his journey and then needed to let go of his hand as he continued on, but leaving her and her sibs with a parting gift that they will never forget.
I can absolutely relate to Lizz’s experience, particular with the fairly recent (November 26, 2o1o) death of my mother. I grew up in a really goofy family, as those who know me or those who have been reading the Bliss Blog for awhile, can attest to. Silly humor and weirdness abound. We looked at death as another life event and although my parents’ deaths were not joyful occasions, obviously, they brought with them dielarious laughter, to be sure. One such occurred when I was visiting my mom in Florida while she was on hospice. She was asleep (or so I thought) in her hospital bed that was set up in the living room and I was watching tv; a special on The Learning Channel featuring Barbara Carrellas who is a sex educator who I have known for a few years. Her segment of the show was about energetic orgasms that the producers of the show referred to as ‘thinking off’, which is about experiencing the physiological indications without direct bodily/genital contact. Breathing and imagining are key components. So, here I am watching this show, while my 86 year old mother is in the room. Even as open as our conversations were about sex when I was growing up and as an adult, this was a stretch for me to be listening and observing as the people in her workshop were doing some pretty heavy breathing. My mother opens her eyes and asks “What are you watching?” I tell her that it is my friend Barbara on tv, helping people experience the safest sex there is. She laughs and says “Meshuggenah! (Yiddish for crazy)” and then goes back to sleep. We had many such moments prior to her passing. When I would assist her with personal care and she could still stand, she would lean against the bed and do a little hip action and wiggle before I hitched up her clothing. I would shake my tush along with her as we would sometimes collapse into laughter/tears. When we would take ‘trips’ all over the world with imagination as our wings, with no need for passport or plane ticket, one time she said she wanted to go to Hawaii and to a luau. I asked what we would be doing there and she grinned “Dance the hula and get lei’d.” “Oh, two wild women out on the town!” Rather than roast pig (we are Jewish), she wanted to indulge in s’mores; chocolate being our shared drug of choice. When she would become forgetful, she would often remind me that she still had her marbles. I assured her that I would retreive any that had rolled under the couch. She appreciated that.
Death is not an easy topic for most to speak about, but dielarity allows us to laugh in its sometimes dark and fear-furrowed face.